ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION & ANGER

Anger is a natural emotion, but often times, people don’t express anger and allow it to be stockpiled. Anger has a way of expressing itself on its own. Letting anger express itself like this is unhealthy and can have negative consequences. This is not anger-management.

A person who allows his or her anger to be expressed in an out‐of‐control manner will tell you how draining it is afterward. It can be both physically and emotionally tiring, and often times it can lead to a real emotional breakdown. In addition, damage is done to relationships. This is why it is important to express your anger when you are in control of the anger, and not the other way around. Manage intense emotion in a timely manner. This is where assertiveness skills and learning how to be assertive comes into play. Assertive Communication enhances anger-management.

Assertiveness Skills

What is assertive? What does being assertive mean to you? Some think of assertiveness as being over‐bearing.  Others identify assertiveness with being strong and in control.

It is important to note that there is a huge difference between expressing anger assertively and expressing it aggressively. Assertive communication skills have to do with expressing how you feel while being in control of those feelings. Being assertive in expressing anger means being able to tell the subject of your anger what you want and
what they can do to help resolve the underlying issue that is causing you anger with composure and self‐control. Remember all of your emotions are your responsibility.  Communicating this clearly is always better than getting into a tirade of eruptive behaviors.

Managing Anger Using Assertiveness Skills

Often times we become angry because we do not like the way something is being done or we do not like the way we are being treated by someone. Instead of getting haphazardly angry, you can try to communicate with the other person about the situation. Perhaps the other person is unaware of your needs or is unaware that he is upsetting you. You have nothing to lose by being assertive and explaining your point of view and what you want, then anger-management is possible.  Frequently this will lead to unity and cooperation.

Using assertiveness skills in this way means being in control of your emotions and being able to express such emotions in a composed, intelligent manner. Being composed ensures that you get your point across without letting your anger over‐run the situation. Of course, it is often difficult to think straight when one is angry. It may temporarily feel good to lash out at someone in anger, but this is the challenge and art of mastering assertiveness.

Developing assertiveness skills will take time, but the more you use assertive communication skills in dealing with strong emotions, the better your assertiveness skills will get.  Communicate with self‐respect, and respect for the other. Like most life skills, assertiveness skills can be developed over time.  Once you learn how to calmly assert yourself, it will take a life of its own. It will enable you to express yourself confidently and allow you to get what you want without resorting to whining, childish behavior or becoming aggressive and more importantly, getting into fits of anger.